Why some students cheat on exams

  • 1 Fear of failure

    Researchers found that some students cheat on tests due to the fear of failure, as failing would have negative consequences on their lives and grades.

  • 2 They think it's the teachers' fault

    Some students cheat on exams because they believe their teachers or professors put unfair tests or consider them incompetent teachers who didn't do a good job in the classroom. 

  • 3 They want a better grade

    Some students see cheating as a way to get a better grade while doing minimal effort. 

  • 4 Pressure from others

    Some students resort to cheating on exams due to the pressure their parents, for example, put on them in order to succeed and do well in school. 

  • 5 Due to competition

    Some students cheat on tests because they want to succeed over whoever they're academically competing with. 

  • 6 The school doesn't take action against cheaters

    Some students are motivated to cheat on tests when the school and teacher take no action towards stopping cheating. When the students find that their classmates who cheat don't get into trouble, they cheat as well and think it's an acceptable behavior. 

  • 7 They lack self-confidence

    Some students who cheat do so because they are under stress and don't believe in their abilities; thus, cheating in this case is due to psychological factors. See Why do exams cause stress

  • 8 They're lazy

    Some students cheat merely because they're too lazy to study and do an effort. Procrastination and laziness, in this case, lead to cheating on tests as a simpler way to pass the exam. See Why do exams make you tired

  • 9 They think the subject isn't important

    Some students cheat on certain exams because they don't find the subject interesting and would prefer studying hard for a subject they actually like. 

  • 10 As a way of rebelling

    Some students cheat on tests as a way of rebelling against society that regards education as the most important element in a person's life. See Why do some students drop out of school

  • 11 They have poor study skills

    Some students cheat on tests because they don't know how to study or their study skills are poor. In such a case, these students prefer to cheat over asking for help. 

  • 12 It's a cry for help

    In some cases, students cheat when they are going through a hard time in their lives but don't speak up about it, so cheating is considered a cry for help, according to a school dean. 

  • 13 They don't understand the subject

    Some students cheat when they feel like they don't understand the subject and can't study it. Thus, cheating is the only way for them to pass the exam.

  • 14 Lack of supervision

    Some students find cheating a good opportunity when the teacher or professor aren't in class or aren't supervising the exam well.